God’s Gracious Gift

I am Your gift to me.
You are My Eucharistic Lord,
Coming as food,
For my spirit,
For my soul,
For my body.
Your Life feeds my life.

Your Spirit supplies a holy Breath
To fill me and pervade my very being.
Your Father awaits my return,
Rising in You after each fall
He embraces me as He embraces You,
And weaves my future in a unity of Trinity,
Making of me a gift to the world about me.

Jesus, gift of the Father,
Gift me in Your Spirit,
To live with You the divine Life of God.
You, my Eucharist,
I offer the Father in perpetual thanksgiving.

©2016 Joann Nelander

Everyday

Everyday is good.
Everyday is holy.
All days are present
In Your Light.

With my life lived
Under Your gaze,
I implore of You
A river of love.

Pour the many waters
To wash the dross away,
Then You, Yourself,
Provide pure gold.

Through the heart
And hands of the Virgin,
Purify my gift each day
As I sigh to You.

All my ways,
The moments now arrayed
Gilded by Christ
Shine in holiness.

And, though my acts
Be as the poor trinkets of a child,
Your wearing of them,
In Our Father’s Presence,
Makes Him smile.

Look on me loving You
With every beat of my heart,
Skipping happily,
As a playmate at Your side,
Everyday.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Passion-Deed

Lord, my tears are plentiful,
As I behold Thee in Thy rest.
Kneeling in poverty of spirit,
I am thrice blessed.

Your forever Union
With our Heavenly Father
Embraces me as the child,
That I am want to be,
Obedient, merciful and mild.

The Holy Spirit of God
Rests upon me,
Gifting me in sorrow for sin,
Raising me above the world,
And lifting me
To the lap of Abba Father,
With You, within.

Here in hallowed Presence,
My tears fall upon the garden,
You plant in my soul,
To water this consecrated plot
Replete with the promised fulfillment
That heals and makes me whole.

Already, but not yet,
Here in seed,
With You in Eternity,
Won by Cross and Passion-Deed.

©2012 Joann Nelander

The Greatest Scandal of All – Jimmy Akin – MP3

Talk here

Why My Husband and I Canceled Christmas | Over The Big Moon

By Lisa on November 24, 2014.

It’s true. We have cancelled Christmas in our house this year.

Now before you all go crazy on me in the comments, let me explain. We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions. But, we have cancelled presents, Santa, and stockings. Their letters to Santa this year will be asking Santa to find someone who needs their presents more.

Here is why – John and I feel like we are fighting a very hard uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement. Our kids have been acting so ungrateful lately. They expect so much even when their behavior is extremely disrespectful. We gave them good warning, either it was time for their behavior to change or there would be consequences. We patiently worked with them for several months and guess what, very little changed. One day after a particularly bad display of entitlement John said, “we should just cancel Christmas.” And, so that’s what we did.

Instead we will be taking the money we would have spent on presents and put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others this season. We are trying to teach them the pleasure of giving rather than continuing to feed their childhood desire for more.

The first project we did this season was to hold a clothing driving in our neighborhood. We gathered gently used clothing, sorted them, and packaged them up to send to a village in Northern Cebu of the Philippines. The village was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan last year. Then the kids wrote letters and found hard candy from their Halloween stash that we could ship to the kids in the village. It was awesome! Instead of being sad over giving up their Halloween candy they were excited and kept wanting to give more and more. After we had the boxes all packaged up we mailed them. The kids loved it! It was a lot of money to ship and they understand that they gave up having something, so they could give these clothes to others.

We also ordered a couple of these 12 piece Nativity sets.

We will be choosing two families for the 12 days of Christmas. Each day we will deliver a different piece of the nativity. On Christmas day we will give them the last piece of the nativity, baby Jesus. That will be 12 nights of fun memories we will be making trying to deliver the pieces without getting caught. We are also looking into an Adopt a Grandparent program. For Christmas dinner we have invited several older widows and couples in our area that don’t have family around to eat with us.

See what I mean? How cool will this Christmas be! Instead of focusing on what they will be getting, we will be keeping the focus on what they can give!

The few presents they get from Grandparents and other families members will be more cherished because the quantity will be less. They can enjoy what they get rather than feel overstimulated with so much. Christmas morning won’t be less special without Santa coming. Instead we can enjoy our Cinnamon rolls, play games as a family, and truly enjoy the few presents they did get. There is a good possibility that Santa will be writing them a letter of how proud of them he is and perhaps put a few pieces of hard candy and an orange in their stockings. We have Santa Stationary that is free for download.

I really think that we as parents need to take a step back and look at our motivation for giving gifts to our kids. READ MORE via Why My Husband and I Canceled Christmas | Over The Big Moon.

Gift of Love

Take a moment from your busy day to say the Lord’s Prayer for your loved ones in purgatory. It will also warm our Lord’s heart.

The Gift of Thanksgiving-Reflection

by Sr. LaDonna Pinkelman OSF

St. Paul (in one of his letters) told his friends, "Never worry about anything, but tell God your desires of every kind in prayer and petition filled with gratitude and the peace which is beyond every understanding will guard your heart."

In November, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time to remember the many gifts given to us by a gracious God who cares for us endlessly. The Scripture passage, above, says so plainly what can happen when we depend and thank God for the many gifts of our life. Can you imagine how different this world and our lives could be if we all had a heart filled with praise and gratitude?

Let’s take a look at the very ordinary gifts of life that we so often take for granted–the ability to breath (our life source); for gift of sight to see God’s beauty all around, to see the needs of others and do something about it (whenever possible), to see with an inner sight God’s life and light within and let it shine out to all we meet; the ability to smile and spread joy and more joy by our friendliness; for our ears to hear what is good and not so good (helping us make proper choices) to hear God’s Word spoken in prayer and Scripture, in and around us; to speak and talk in kindly ways and not harsh ways; our tongue to taste/savor the gift of food and drink; for the gift of hands to touch tenderly, to grasp and hold (for they are always handy); our fingers to move and put things together, screw and unscrew, to hold a pen and pencil (WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THEM?); FOR the gift of our feet–to walk, run, move from place to place; our mind/intelligence, to think, to ponder and learn for our good and the good of others (allowing us to work carefully for others); for faith, spirituality and religion that brings meaning and life to us and all God’s People; for our families, relationships and co-workers who give purpose and meaning to love, living out our daily ordinary lives. These are only a few of ordinary gifts. We could go on and on.

When we can readily think of things we are grateful for, we more than likely have a grateful heart and healthy spirituality. Let us make it a practice to praise and thank God with a heart filled with gratitude and love (even when it is difficult). And yes, the peace beyond understanding will be an added gift from God for our life.

Sr. La Donna Pinkelman, OSF

Everyday

Everyday is good.
Everyday is holy.
All days are present
In Your Light.

With my life lived
Under Your gaze,
I implore of You
A river of love.

Pour the many waters
To wash the dross away,
Then You, Yourself,
Provide pure gold.

Through the heart
And hands of the Virgin,
Purify my gift each day
As I sigh to You.

All my ways,
The moments now arrayed
Gilded by Christ
Shine in holiness.

And, though my acts
Be as the poor trinkets of a child,
Your wearing of them,
In Our Father’s Presence,
Makes Him smile.

Look on me loving You
With every beat of my heart,
Skipping happily,
As a playmate at Your side,
Everyday.

 

©2013 Joann Nelander

Jesus, Haven of My Soul

Jesus, I place myself
In the holy confines
Of Your Sacred Heart.
Heart of my heart,
Draw heaven to me.

Surround me with friends
Of Your choosing,
That my mind might be full
Of the conversation of saints.

The world is so much with me.
It is temptress and shallow.
I long for the deep
Of Your thoughts,
To speak peace and refuge
In my wilderness.

You are the haven of my soul,
The Paradise once lost,
But now given
With My daily Bread.

Exile holds no fear
For You surround me.
You are my consolation
And marrow of my bones,
Strength of my strength.

Your Holy Spirit comes to me
And turns my tears to laughter.
In a valley of vanity and pride,
Your Humanity and Humility
Take me by the hand and heart
To lead me home.

©2012 Joann Nelander
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I Am the Gift

 

I am the gift
God gives to me,
Mysterious and known,
But to God.
Unfolding like the petals of a rose,
From tightly wound bud,
To glorious blossom,
Unfurled and unfettered,
I move with the wind
And dance with the sun,
Following its course

Across the sky.
I am God’s gracious gift.
He, the grace giver.
May I serve to delight Him,
By the fragrance of my being,
Offering no resistance,
As I incline
To the gentle breeze,
Or bow in storm’s fury.
The gift God gives to me,
I kiss and make return,
One smiling bloom
In God’s splendid bouquet of creation.

©2012 Joann Nelander

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